Use Your Zoodle!

veggettiI’ve discovered a new trend in veggies—zoodles!  Never heard of them?  Zoodles are zucchini noodles and they are made with a nifty gadget called a spiralizer.  Spiralizers, such as the Veggetti (as seen on TV and which is what I have) can be a simple little tool that costs as little as $10 or $15, or be a little more complicated, counter-top, crank-handled contraption that sells for up to $50 or more.  And spiralizers aren’t just for zucchini.  Oh, no!  Besides zoodles, you can make spoodles (sweet potato noodles), or simply oodles of noodles from carrots, squash, white potatoes, apples, cucumbers and a dozen other firm vegetables and fruits.  And you’ll have to admit—whether you’re twisting or cranking, making long, twisty, curly strands of veggies is just plain fun and easy!spiralizer

Now, how do you use your zoodles?  You’ll find recipes for all kinds of zoodle dishes, from zoodle spaghetti and meatballs to chicken zoodle soup, zoodle ramen, shrimp scampi with zoodles, spoodle curly fries, spiralized cucumber salad, zoodle stir-fry, apple zoodle crisp—well, all manner of salads, soups, main dishes, pasta salads, slaws, appetizers, sides, appetizers, desserts, garnishes… Zoodles can be boiled, roasted, baked, sautéed or eaten raw.  Dare I say—be creative and use your noodle to use your zoodles!

I have a new-found passion for veggies these days.  I have been trying to eat healthier and for the last nine months have cut nearly all pasta, potatoes, rice and bread from my diet.  The result has been super-good control of my diabetes for the first time in 22 years of having this disease, and a slow but steady weight loss.  After months of this lifestyle change in the way I ate, though, things were starting to become a little—no, a lot—boring.  I did not want to get discouraged and give up, so I started looking for new ways to add some pizzazz to my diet.

The first thing I found was cauliflower crust pizza (a little labor intensive in “ricing” the cauliflower, but surprisingly tasty, and satisfied my craving for pizza) and other cauliflower recipes (faux potato salad, mashed potates, popcorn…)  Then I found zoodles, and suddenly veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, and squash were my new best friends!  I am enjoying cooking again—finding new and really different recipes and coming up with my own creations.  And of course, I am especially enjoying the new variety in my diet instead of the same ol’, same ol’ menu day after day, week after week.  I feel happy, too, that I am eating good, healthy, guilt-free meals—the way God intends us to eat.

I am not one to jump on the health kick wagon and start preaching to everyone else about how they should eat or live now that I have found this one little change that has made a difference to me.  Goodness knows I have struggled with this my entire life and usually not succeeded in the battle.  But I am convicted that God does want us to eat healthy and ashamed that I have failed miserably in that so often.  I would like to share just a few of the verses from Scripture that speak to caring for our bodies and eating the way we ought.  And let me say, the only one I am pointing a finger at is myself!  Let’s read them together and let the Holy Spirit convict where He may:

And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. (Proverbs 23:2)  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty… (Proverbs 23:21)  This is God’s warning to us about gluttony, and as hard as it is to admit, sometimes we are just gluttons!  I hate that label.  It brings shame (Proverbs 28:7), it signifies a lack of self-control, and it leads to the poverty of ill health, low self-esteem and yes, even wasteful spending.  I don’t want to be known as a glutton; I don’t want to be a glutton!  The next time I am at a potluck or party I hope I will remember that before Ioading my plate to overflowing!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22, 23)  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)  Having self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will exercise that self-control and not give in to the lust of the flesh—the desire to over-indulge in that which is not good for us.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)  The Bible tells me that as a believer, my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I am bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, and His Spirit indwells me.  He wants our temple to be healthy and beautiful for Him—bringing glory to God.  I do not have the right to defile my body—it is His.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others I myself should become disqualified. (I Corinthians 9:27)  We are a testimony to others, as well.  Like it or not, how we appear to others influences them as to whether or not they will want to hear or respect our testimony.  I do not want my lack of self control to be a stumbling block to others.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)  This is our whole purpose in life—to bring glory to our Creator!  May we as His new creation, be beautiful, most certainly on the inside, but to the best of our abilities, on the outside, as well.

 

And I can’t leave you this week without sharing my favorite simple, quick and easy zoodle recipe (so far!):

Almond Zoodles Parmigiano

2 small zucchini                                        Zoodles, Almonds and Parmesan

garlic salt

pepper

shredded parmesan cheese

sliced or slivered almonds

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Make spiralized zucchini noodles and spread out on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and sliced almonds.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

To turn this into a main dish—Simply add shredded leftover chicken to zoodles, then season and add cheese and almonds, and bake. Makes a beautiful light lunch!

 

 

 

 

Miracles, Memories and Mom

It’s been eighteen months since I last wrote on Sundays with Cindy. After five years of sharing my life and thoughts and Scripture, I set aside my blog for a time to take care of other pressing needs.  I did not mean to take so long to return to it, but I have been feeling the conviction in my heart lately that it is time to obey His voice and come back to my own little corner of ministry.  And so I take up my pen—er, laptop—and well—let’s get on with it!

Welcome back!  I’m excited to be here again, and I hope if you have been a follower of Sundays with Cindy, that you are, too!  I’m sure you’ve noticed that there is a new look to the site (which I love!) but it’s still the same ol’ me.  If you are new to my blog, the premise of Sundays with Cindy is this:  Each week I use something that has occurred that week in my life, or the life of someone I love, or even in the nation or world, as inspiration for a devotion from God’s Word.  I have been blessed by writing and sharing these things, and I pray my readers have been blessed as well.  You can catch up on all my past blogs by exploring the archives listed in the sidebar on this page.  If you would like to know a little of my background, please check out “About.”  And feel free to leave a comment and share with me, too!  I would love it!

Today is Father’s Day.  This day cannot pass without me remembering my own dad who went to be with the Lord twelve years ago this week.   I miss him, but there is no hurt anymore at losing him.  From the time he left us, we have praised God for sparing him pain and suffering and rejoiced that he is in Heaven, enjoying its glories and awaiting the rest of us there.  There is a smile on my face as I pull out the memories of him from my childhood, my teen years, and the support and encouragement he always gave me as an adult.  How he loved his children and grandchildren—and great-grandchildren!  How he loved my mother!  I thank my Heavenly Father for the wonderful earthly father He gave me!  (I shared more about my dad in the June 2009 archives.)  I do not go to the cemetery often, but when I do, it is not to mourn my father, but to remember him and honor him and thank God for giving him to me.  Deuteronomy 5:16 says, “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee…”  Thank you, Lord, for the sweet memories I have of my father!

When I left you eighteen months ago, my mother had just gone into the hospital.  It turns out she had cancer and some very serious heart issues.  After surgery and chemotherapy, eight months later the cancer was gone and the heart issues are under control.  God is gracious and good all the time and through the difficult times we had last year, He was always faithful and loving and walking beside us.  He tells us in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  I am so grateful for this extra time we have with her now!

Probably the most momentous things that have happened in our lives since last I left you are the wonderful changes that have been happening in our sweet Robbie’s life!  I had already told you that after twelve years of been nourished through a feeding tube and never having a morsel of food or drink in his mouth, Robbie got his “swallow” back and suddenly was able to eat again, on a limited scale!  He has progressed from yogurt and pudding and jello to things like scrambled eggs, beans, and spaghetti (cut very fine.)  He still cannot handle liquids or things that have to be chewed a lot, and we still use the feeding tube for most of his meals, but it is such a miracle to us to see our boy once again enjoying one of the very basic things of life that we all enjoy—food!  In the last year we have also begun to wean him off of some of the old drugs he took for his severe seizures and introduce some of the newer drugs that seem to have fewer harmful side effects and work better.  As a result, we are seeing a new, alert, excited, lively, happy Robbie!  What a joy to see shades of our “old” Robbie returning!

One of the greatest surprises happened just this week and it truly was a miracle!  I was in the kitchen and Bob was standing at the dining room table.  Robbie was sitting on the couch in the living room.  Bob glanced over at Robbie—and there was our son standing straight and tall all by himself and grinning from ear to ear!  Robbie has not stood on his own since July of 2001—fourteen years ago!  Since then we have had to hold him up and steady him, since he has no balance or strength in his legs, and the last few years he has stood hunched over while he clings to us.  To see him standing on his own was like seeing a ghost of the old Robbie.

“Robbie!” Bob exclaimed and rushed over to him, to catch him if he should fall.  (The back of his legs were against the couch which was steadying him.)  Robbie saw him coming toward him and sat down quickly as if, “Oh-oh!  I’m in trouble now!”  He was not in trouble, of course.  We were thrilled, but at the same time scared.  If he were to fall against a piece of furniture, he could maim or kill himself.  But praise God!  Is this the first step in Robbie regaining his strength and someday being able to stand or maybe even walk on his own???

Robbie standing on his own, so straight and tall, reminds me of the story of the lame man in Acts 3.  Verses 1-10 tell us, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.”

The people were “filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.”  That is exactly how I felt about Robbie suddenly standing after fourteen years!  The rest of chapter 3 goes on to tell us that Peter and John used this as an instrument to share Jesus Christ as the Savior to the crowd gathered there that day.  Acts 4:4 then tells us, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.”  What a testimony that Jesus has the power to not only heal our physical infirmities in such a miraculous fashion, but to save us from sin miraculously as well!

God still works miracles today.  Some big miracles like the one I shared today; many times little miracles that we recognize as a “God thing.”  We need to share them with others as a testimony to God’s greatness and power and as an instrument to share the Good News of the Gospel.

And so Sundays with Cindy is back.  Sometimes to relate the more significant events in my life, other times to share the little things, but hopefully to find something each week to encourage, edify or simply bless each of us through His Word.  And it’s so good to be back!

 

Please Pray for Mom

There will be no Sundays with Cindy today.  My mother is in the hospital and I need to spend time with her.  We would appreciate prayers for her.  Hopefully she will be going home soon.  Please come back next week for Sundays with Cindy!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

It’s snowing, blowing and freezing outside today!  This is the Big One, folks, here in NW Indiana!  It’s been snowing off and on throughout the week—three or four inches one day, six or seven another until finally we had about fifteen or sixteen inches accumulation on the ground.  The weather forecasters, however, have been warning that in our area we will get another ten to twelve inches today and maybe even more over the next couple days.  It looks like a Winter Wonderland out there right now with the trees and everything else covered in fresh, white snow.  Oh yes—so pretty if you don’t have to shovel it or drive in it!

That is not the worst of it, though.  The double whammy is the plunge in the temperature we will experience as an arctic blast from the North Pole descends on us.  They are saying in the next twenty-four hours we will have a high of thirteen below zero and a low of eighteen degrees below—and that is without the wind chill!  Br-r-r-r!  I do not want to go outside!  Thank you, Lord for my nice warm house and the power we still have to keep it warm!  I pray for those who are suffering in the cold for whatever reason.

Oh, twelve inches of snow doesn’t seem like so much when we have had far worse white-out blizzards that have left two or almost three feet of snow at once.  Bob went out at 6:30 this morning, though, to shovel the two-foot drifts in our driveway so that he could get out to church.  During the time he had come in to get ready to go, another couple inches came down and the drifts were building up again.  The temperature is dropping at least a degree per hour.  I can hear the wind whipping around out there as I write.  Church has already been cancelled for tonight.  It will be too dangerous for folks to try to brave this arctic storm.  What makes this storm so bad is the one-two punch of snow and sub-zero temperatures.

When we have days like this, I want to be with my loved ones, knowing that everyone in the family is safely home and sheltered from the storm.  I want to snuggle up in a nice, soft fleece blanket in my warm cozy house.  I want to fix a big pot of hot, hearty homemade soup or some other comfort food, sip on a mug of coffee or hot chocolate and thank God for His provision and protection.

The Bible tells us that all weather is from the Lord.  (Job 37, Psalm 148))  He sends the snow, the rain, hail and ice, and the stormy winds.  Likewise, our Father allows the spiritual storms into our lives.  Without those tribulations and times of trial we would never know the comfort that only He can bring.

He is a shelter against the storm.  “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”  (Isaiah 25:4)

He brings us home to safety, our path through the storm. “Thou compassest my path… Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it… Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me”.  (Psalm 139:1-10)

He gives warmth and comfort and holds us close when we are besieged.  He is that warm, comfy, cozy blanket.  “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust…” (Psalm 91:4)

He nourishes and nurtures us. He is our comfort food.   “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits… Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2, 5)

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  (I Thessalonians 5:18) When He tells us to be thankful for all things (even the terrible storms that come from time to time) it is because He has sent those difficult times into our lives for good reason—not the least being so that we can truly feel the deep love and comfort and compassion He has for us. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  (II Corinthians 1:3, 4)

Snuggle down into His love and protection and watchcare over you!  And then when someone else you know is going through the storms of life, share His warmth and love with them.  Ahh—bring it on!  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It’s the Day Before the Day Before New Year’s Eve!

Whoopee.  We’re not big party-ers around here, I’m afraid, and the older we get, the more it is true.  Oh, I try.  I’m a night owl, so every year I put together a pretty table of goodies in the hope that someone will stay up and watch the New Year come in on television with me and celebrate just a little, but every year it’s the same old story.  Lo-o-ong before midnight Bob zonks out.  Can’t say that I blame him.  He is an early bird and is up two or three hours before I am.  Normally that works out well for us.  I take the late shift with Robbie, and then Bob lets me sleep in a little and he takes care of Robbie’s early morning needs.  I don’t think even a real party on New Year’s Eve would keep him up ‘til midnight.

Then there’s Robbie.  Even he has deserted me!  Just about any other night of the year someone magically flips a switch at the stroke of midnight and our quiet, sleeping boy turns into a party animal and makes as much joyful noise as he can make with his most obnoxiously noisy toys.  [See my blog “Finding the Words to Say” from April 14, 2013.]  But come New Year’s Eve and he’s snuggled in next to Daddy and dreaming of dancing sugar-plum fairies at midnight.  (Really???)

I’m pretty sure this Tuesday night I’ll get phone calls an hour early from the Naranjos in Ecuador and maybe even two hours late from the Sanchez family in California as they celebrate, but there won’t be any fireworks or toasting or kissing going on around here.  I guess you could say on the highway of life, we’re just a bunch of speed bumps.

When I was growing up, our church always had a “Watchnight Service” on New Year’s Eve.   It was a highlight of our year and we wouldn’t think of missing it.  The evening was filled with singing, a Christian movie or maybe some games, goodies down in the fellowship hall, and then as midnight approached, Communion around the Lord’s Table.  As the clock struck twelve, we were ushering in the New Year in prayer, while we could hear fireworks going off outside the church.  When the final “Amen” was said, we hugged or kissed our loved ones sitting nearby.  Happy New Year!

Jesus asked His disciples to stay up late one night with Him—not to celebrate but to prayThey had just finished the Passover meal and Jesus wanted to go to Gethsemane.  Within hours He would be betrayed, judged and crucified.  “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”  (Matthew 26:36-45)

When Jesus told the disciples to watch, what did He mean?  The word watch in the Greek means to “stay awake” or “be sleepless.”  Beyond the physical sense of the word, He wanted them to be vigilant, to be on guard, aware, alert and focused.  He knew He was about to be betrayed and He wanted these, His closest friends and disciples, to stand with Him.  Instead, they fell asleep.

Jesus then took His request one step further than merely asking them to stay physically awake when He said to Peter, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.Essentially, He was saying, “Be vigilant and pray, Peter, so that you will have the strength to withstand temptation and sin!  I know your intentions are good, but your human willpower is weak.”

He asks the same thing of us.  Romans 13:11 says, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.Wake up from your spiritual sleep!  Be vigilant!  Jesus is coming again quickly and it is urgent that we each be spiritually prepared and working to help others be prepared as well.

As a kid, I wondered why we called it “watchnight.”  I guess I just assumed it meant we were watching the New Year come in.  Now as an adult I understand that the term signifies a two-pronged question:  Will this New Year be the one in which Jesus returns—and are we watching and praying vigilantly in preparation?

May 2014 AD be the year!

It’s the Day Before the Day Before Christmas Eve!

I can scarcely believe it!  I feel like I’ve been sitting on the sidelines this year as the Christmas season has slid in just under the radar.  My tree is finally up and decorated almost three weeks later than normal—and it took a full week from start to finish to finally get ‘er done!  It is pretty much the only thing that got decorated this year.  Except for a tablecloth, comforter and a couple of Christmas towels, the rest of the house is its same ol’, same ol’.  It is all I could handle this year with my injured foot.

I missed most of the hustle and bustle of the season (which is a good thing!)  and did the majority of my gift shopping on the internet.  I also missed out on our church’s Christmas cantata, seeing the church decorated for Christmas, singing carols and hearing Christmas messages—not a good thing.  The few gifts I have here to be wrapped are still waiting.  I will get to them tomorrow or the next day—sliding in just under the wire.  I have a small stack of Christmas cards to write out tonight and mail tomorrow.  They will be late arriving, of course.  I’m baking just one lonely little batch of cookies tomorrow night…

Who is this woman who for decades has enjoyed all the month-long preparations for Christmas and was always on top of it all???

Oh, I know these are just the outer trappings of Christmas.  I have always felt, though, that all the effort and time we put into celebrating Christmas is worthy of the remembrance of our Savior’s birth on earth.  There were no preparations for that momentous event two thousand years ago, yet we spend weeks preparing these days to celebrate it!  There were only a handful of people there to rejoice at His birth when it happened.  Now millions, billions of people rejoice!  We despise the commercialization of Christmas, but the gifts we give one another at this time of year are symbolic and a reminder of the unspeakable gift God gave the world, salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.  There is no other event through the year in which we invest more time, effort and preparation than the celebration of Christ’s coming to earth to dwell among us and that is a good thing!

Yes, all these outward preparations are fine but I hope with all of that, our hearts are being prepared as well.  As we decorate our homes to welcome His birth, are our hearts adorned with praise and gratitude that He chose to dwell with us and in us if we would have Him?  As we prepare for the gift-giving to one another, do we think about the gift we can give back to Him—our lives in worship and service to Him?  As we prepare our Christmas goodies and feasts and look forward to time spent with family and friends, do we spend time in fellowship and communion with Him first of all?  Israel looked forward to the coming of the Messiah for centuries, yet when He did come, they were unprepared to receive Him.  John the Baptist was “…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”  (Luke 1:17) and indeed, he cried to all who would hear, Prepare ye the way of the Lord…” (Mark 1:3)  As we prepare for this Christmas, let us be sure our hearts are prepared, as well.

And don’t forget—Jesus is coming again!  Now is the time to prepare for His second coming!  We are to be watching and waiting and working to bring others with us when He comes to take us away from the wrath that is to come at His second coming.   “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”  (Mark 13:32-33)  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:40)  Let us be prepared—ready, waiting and watching for the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Joy to the World!

I think I’ve mentioned before that we do a little “Sing-Along-with-Robbie” almost every Saturday night with our friend Mark and his guitar.  Mark loves Robbie and feels led to minister to him in this way—and we all reap the blessings from it.  It is a sweet time of fellowship and it brings a smile to Robbie’s face—and to ours as we watch our boy enjoying this special time that is just for him.  The music isn’t always the greatest as we three sixty-somethings make a joyful noise, but Robbie bobs his head in time to the music and sometimes hums along or even sings his own one-note version.  Bob and I decided to give Robbie a small guitar for Christmas just like Mr. Mark’s.  He won’t be able to really play it, of course, but he can hold it across his lap and pluck at the strings.

This last weekend we decided to do Christmas carols and songs at our little sing-along.  Robbie has his favorites, so we started off with those—Silent Night, Away in a Manger, O Come All Ye Faithful, Jingle Bells…  He was loving it!  Then we moved on to Joy to the World, which has always been one of my favorites, as well.  I made a discovery at that point that surprised me—the kind of revelation that always makes me wonder, “How did I ever get to this ripe old age without seeing this before???”

Joy to the World is one of those carols that is so familiar and well-loved that most of us know the lyrics by heart—not just the first verse but at least one or two other verses, as well.  We sing or hear it many times each Christmas season and often close a Christmas service or program with a big, rousing, triumphant rendition of it, filling our hearts with joy and goodwill toward all!  It is the most published Christmas hymn in North America.

Only Joy to the World is not a Christmas carol at all!  If you really concentrate on the words as you sing, you will see that this hymn is not speaking of Jesus’ first coming to earth as a babe in the manger, but of His second coming as Christ the Messiah, the King, ruler and healer of Heaven and earth.  Every nation, every knee shall bow before Him, and that certainly wasn’t true of His first coming.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world! the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sin and sorrow grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make
His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of his love
And wonders of his love
And wonders and wonders of his love.

The lyrics were written by an English hymn writer named Isaac Watts in 1719 and based on Psalm 98.  Watts (1674-1748) has been called the “Father of English Hymnology.”   You will see his name on many of the old hymns we cherish—Come Ye that Love the Lord (Marching to Zion); O God, Our Help in Ages Past; When I Survey the Wondrous Cross; Alas! and Did My Saviour Bleed; I Sing the Mighty Power of GodThe music to Joy to the World was composed by Lowell Mason in 1839 and is believed to be based in part, at least, on Handel’s Messiah.

Have you ever thought, “Oh, I wish I could have been one of those shepherds in the field two thousand years ago and heard the angels’ announcement of the Baby’s birth”?  Or “What was it like for Mary and Joseph to look down on this tiny newborn and realize that this was God’s Son, come down from Heaven to dwell among us.”?  We can only imagine the awe and wonder they must have felt!

Well, we missed out on that first humble coming, but it could very well be in our lifetime that we experience His appearance when He returns in the clouds for His own—those of us who believe on Him—and then His triumphant second coming when He sets foot on earth again as King Jesus!  And even if it should happen after our lives here are over, we will still be witnesses of “that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13).

Revelation 19:11-16 tells us that not only will we be witnesses to His Second Coming, but that we will be participants of it as His mighty army, dressed all in white and upon white horses.  “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”

Jesus came to earth the first time in Bethlehem as the Lamb, the ultimate sacrifice which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)  He will return and set foot on the Mount of Olives in His Second Coming as the ultimate judge and ruler of the world.  Those who have followed Him will rejoice.  All those who rejected Him will cry for the mountains to fall down upon them as they face His wrath and judgment.  “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”  (Revelation 6:15-17)

Jesus said in Revelation 22:20, Surely I am come quickly.”   We who are His followers will join with believers from every tribe and nation on that day in singing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her King!”  Truly, what a glorious day that will be!